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22 tips for 2022: To cut back on plastic, you need to audit how much you use

Photo of a variety of single use, disposable plastic from food products arranged on a colorful backdrop and photographed from above.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

The first step in cutting back on plastic is understanding what you're using and how much of it.

Do an audit of the plastics in your home to get a sense of how much plastic you use. Then use that information to help you make targeted plans to reduce your plastic use.

"Tally up the different types of plastic packaging used, and go through the trash as well," says environmental activist Shilpi Chhotray.

She notes that you're likely to find a lot of plastic in the kitchen and the bathroom.

Once you have a better understanding of your plastic consumption, you can do your research on what can actually be recycled and what potential sustainable swaps you can make.

Here's more on how to reduce your plastic and make sustainable swaps.

22 tips for 2022 is edited and curated by Dalia Mortada, Arielle Retting, Janet W. Lee, Beck Harlan, Beth Donovan and Meghan Keane. This tip is based on an episode reported by Rebecca Davis and produced by Audrey Nguyen.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit

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